Our rigorous, lab-intensive chemistry curriculum will sharpen your powers of observation, foster collaboration and exploration, and cultivate the curiosity that leads to discovery.

Chemistry Course Offerings

CHEM 100 Applications of Chemistry – GS 4 C-PN
The course is primarily designed as a terminal course for non-science majors but is open to all students. Many of the traditional chemical theories will be presented but always in association with a topic of everyday interest. The selection and sequence of topics will vary with the instructor and times. Labs illustrating applications will be carried out where appropriate. A student who has received credit for CHEM 105 or CHEM 107 may not take CHEM 100 for credit without the registrar’s consent.

CHEM 105 General Chemistry 1 – GS 4 C-PN
This course outlines the basic principles, laws and definitions of chemistry. Students will also learn atomic theory and basic reaction chemistry. Gas laws and enthalpy are also introduced. Laboratory work consists of experiments illustrating the above and an introduction to basic laboratory techniques. Course consists of both weekly lectures and scheduled laboratory. Prerequisite: one year of high school chemistry. Student must test into a math class higher than MATH 102 to enroll. Fall semester.

CHEM 107 General Chemistry 2
This course is a continuation of the topics presented in CHEM 105. Emphasis will be on the study of ions in solutions and chemical equilibria. Both chemical kinetics and thermodynamics will also be covered. Course consists of both weekly lectures and scheduled laboratory. Prerequisite: CHEM 105 or instructor’s consent. Spring semester.

CHEM 211 Quantitative Analysis
An introductory course in the principles of quantitative techniques and calculations. Topics include statistics, acid-base chemistry, as well as acid-base, complexation and EDTA titrations. The weekly laboratory experiments are selected to provide experience in the analytical methods described in the lecture. Prerequisite: CHEM 107. Fall semester.

CHEM 220 Organic Chemistry
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic language of organic chemistry. Selected topics include organic nomenclature, orbital hybridization, stereochemistry, and the chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and a few common instrumental methods (NMR, IR and GC-MS). Success in this course will depend on students’ abilities to engage in a process that requires applying basic principles to the analysis of complex problems. Four lectures, one lab per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 107. Fall semester.

CHEM 222 Organic Chemistry: Intermediate
This course is intended for, but not limited to, students who are completing majors outside of chemistry (e.g. biology, environmental science or natural science). Selected topics include redox chemistry, carbonyl chemistry, aromatics, cycloadditions and the applications of instrumental methods (NMR, IR, GC-MS). In addition, select topics in bioorganic chemistry will be covered that serve to illustrate the application of mechanistic organic chemistry to the solution of problems of biochemical or medicinal interest. The lab component of the course will serve to reinforce topics discussed during the lectures. Prerequisite: CHEM 220.

CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry: Research Emphasis
This course is intended for, but not limited to, students who are completing a major in chemistry, including those pursuing the biochemistry concentration in the major. Selected topics include redox chemistry, carbonyl chemistry, aromatics, cycloadditions and a few common instrumental methods (NMR, IR, GC-MS). The course will have an expanded, project-based laboratory. Prerequisite: a grade of “C” or above in CHEM 220.

CHEM 302 / ENVS 310 Environmental Chemistry
This course uses the principles of chemistry to understand natural systems and assess human impact on these systems. Lecture topics will include atmospheric chemistry, the chemistry of natural aqueous systems, data collection and interpretation, and the chemistry of pollutants such as anthropogenic organic compounds and heavy metals. The laboratory aspect of the course will focus on analytical techniques commonly used in environmental analysis. Prerequisite: CHEM 107.

CHEM 305 Inorganic Chemistry
An in-depth study of properties, structures, bonding and reactions of inorganic compounds. Topics include molecular orbital theory, organometallics, coordination chemistry and catalysis. The weekly laboratory is designed to provide students with experience in inorganic synthesis and representative analytical methods of inorganic chemistry. Prerequisite; CHEM 222 or CHEM 232 and CHEM 312.

CHEM 307 Bioorganic Chemistry
An advanced special topics course in organic chemistry with emphasis on the mechanistic aspects of biomolecular action and drug design. Topics of discussion include anti-tumor agents, antibiotics, cholesterol-regulating agents, coenzymes and catalytic antibodies. Prerequisite: CHEM 222 or CHEM 232. Offered in the summer only, alternate years or with sufficient student demand (six or more students).

CHEM 310 Organic Chemistry: Advanced
A study of modern methods for the asymmetric synthesis of organic compounds with emphasis on reaction mechanisms. Prerequisite: A grade of “C” or above in CHEM 222 or CHEM 232.

CHEM 312 Instrumental Analysis
The objectives of this course are to provide a conceptual understanding of instruments and instrumental methods and to provide hands-on experience in the lab. Four major topics are covered: 1) spectrophotometer methods including ultraviolet-visible, atomic absorption, inductively coupled plasma and fluorescence spectroscopy, 2) chromatographic separations including high- performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography, 3) electroanalytical methods including potentiometry, amperometry, coulometry and voltammetry, 4) mass spectrometry. Prerequisite: a grade of “C” or above in CHEM 211. Spring semester.

CHEM 330 Physical Chemistry 1
The first semester of a year-long sequence utilizing the mathematical approach in the study of chemistry. Topics include the first, second and third laws of thermodynamics, the thermodynamics of ideal and real solutions, and an introduction to solution and gas phase kinetics. The laboratory experiments involve the application of these concepts to calorimetry, spectroscopy, electrochemistry and chemical equilibrium. Prerequisite: CHEM 211 and CHEM 222 or CHEM 232, MATH 132. Fall semester.

CHEM 332 Physical Chemistry 2
The second semester of the year-long sequence introduces the concepts of quantum theory of atoms and molecules. The development of quantum mechanics is traced from the Bohr model of the atom to modern applications of computational chemistry. In the laboratory, students use spectroscopy to illustrate the theoretical and mathematical concepts developed in the course. Prerequisite: CHEM 330. Spring semester.

CHEM 350 Biochemistry 1
The first half of the course covers the chemistry of carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids. Particular attention is given to enzyme kinetics and other methods available to study protein structure and function. The second half of the course focuses on bioenergetics and metabolism. Glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, the pentose phosphate pathway, citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation are covered in detail. Weekly experiments are selected to provide experience in modern biochemical lab techniques. Students must present a paper published in the primary literature to their peers. Prerequisite: a grade of “C” or above in BIOL 244 or instructor’s consent) and “C” in CHEM 222 or 232.

CHEM 351 Biochemistry 2
This course is designed as a continuation of CHEM 350. Topics include metabolism of lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, integration and regulation of metabolism and photosynthesis. Students are expected to read and discuss current publications from the primary literature. In addition students must write a review article on an approved topic of their choice and present their findings to the class. The laboratory component of this course focuses on recombinant protein technologies. Prerequisite: a grade of “C” or above in CHEM 350. Alternate years.

CHEM 389 Special Topics
Lecture, laboratory and/or literature studies at an advanced level. The intent is to provide students with the opportunity to increase their understanding of chemistry beyond the scope of the basic core courses. Representative topics include areas such as advanced biochemistry, organometallic chemistry, polymer chemistry and heterocyclic chemistry. Prerequisite: instructor’s consent.

CHEM 490 Independent Study
A course that allows students to pursue research on an individual basis under the direction of a faculty member in chemistry. The specific topic of study is mutually agreed upon by the student and the faculty member directing the research. Prerequisite: instructor’s consent and approval of the associate dean of natural sciences.

CHEM 492 Directed Research
An independent study course involving laboratory experiences under the direction of a faculty member in chemistry. A written report is due two weeks before the end of class. Students who wish to use a summer research experience performed at a site other than St. Norbert College as a substitute for CHEM 492 must have the discipline’s approval prior to undertaking the activity. Prerequisite: instructor’s consent.